The Kris Dunn-less Friars ground out a tough victory against a surprisingly stubborn Bryant Bulldog team. Not only was Providence without Dunn due to sickness, they also were without sharp shooter Ryan Fazekas who was also sick and started the game without Ben Bentil due to an ankle injury.
Its a perfect time for final exams to be coming up, as it gives Providence a week off from games and allows the team to rest and recuperate.
The Bulldogs took full advantage of the Friars starting out shorthanded and jumped out to an early 20-10 lead. No one could make a shot for Providence and they were desperately in need of someone to step up.
Enter Ben Bentil. With 5:15 to go in the first half, the sophomore averaging 17.7 points per game decided he would grind it out, and told Coach Ed Cooley he could play on his injured ankle. He calmly nailed a 15 foot jumper off the left wing upon entering the game, resulting in a huge cheer from the crowd at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
With Bentil in the contest, Providence played a much more inspired game on both sides of the floor. They were only trailing by 1 with 5 seconds to go when Bryant’s Hunter Ware stole an inbounds pass and calmly drained a 25 foot 3-pointer to push the Bulldogs ahead by 4 at the break.
As much as Bentil inspired the Friars, the story of the day was the coming out party for freshman Drew Edwards who scored 17 points and hit 5 threes in the second half. This is after coming into the game averaging 1.1 points per game, if Edwards can show this consistently he will be a great asset come conference play.
— FriarTV (@FriarTV) December 12, 2015
The Friars more or less cruised to the victory after Bentil came into the game. His defensive presence was unquestionable and Bryant opened up the second half with 6 turnovers in their first 8 possessions.
The Bulldogs still fought to the end, and forced Providence to earn it from the line, which they did, sealing the victory going 7-8 from the line in the last few minutes.
Video Credit to FriarTV, check out his site for live streams, highlights and full game replays.